JIMCO’s Cody Parkhouse Wins Second Consecutive
SCORE-International Baja 500 in Class 1
JIMCO Sweeps Class 1 Podium, Takes Top Four Spots
Cody Parkhouse went to Ensenada with one goal in mind – to defend his 2014 Class 1 Baja 500 victory. Having spent many days pre-running and preparing for the grueling race, the #127 JIMCO buggy proved most prepared for the Baja 500 course that went to areas untouched in many years, winning 2015 SCORE-International Baja 500 in Class 1. Nineteen Class 1 vehicles took the green flag but only ten finished. The top four spots belonged to JIMCO, with #160 Victor Barreda, #128 Brent Parkhouse and #104 Rob Archibald all finishing over an hour after the father/son duo of Brian/Cody Parkhouse. The win marks their second consecutive Baja 500 win in dominating fashion.
According to Parkhouse, the day couldn’t have gone better for the #127. Cody’s father Brian barreled out of Ensenada and built a sizeable lead in the first half of the race. Brian and Cody held an average speed of 53.54 mph and earned a twenty-five minute plus lead by race mile 300. When handed off to Cody, it was a gratifying voyage to the finish.
“My section of the course was fast and smooth and just a good time. We had amazing prep on the car and our team and strategy helped get us back-to-back wins. You can’t do it without a perfect car to run all day and perfect pits,” said Cody. “To be able to get to do this as a family is great.”
Second Class 1 finisher, Rob Archibald, drove the entire 510.58 miles of racecourse with copilot and fiancé Judy Catona. The two were immediately hindered at the start line when they realized the GPS file hadn’t fully downloaded. The first (and last) forty miles were driven with no GPS and Archibald was forced to drive solely on SCORE-International’s course markings. Despite driving the entire second half of the race with a stuck throttle, Archibald set the pace behind Parkhouse, who had checked out at that point. Archibald held off #128 Brent Parkhouse and #160 Victor Barreda for the second place finish.
#128 Brent Parkhouse drew a last place starting position and powered through the field of nineteen for the third spot on the Class 1 podium. Brent is fairly new to the class but finished just eight minutes behind Archibald. “We are new to class one and we are happy with third. We will figure it out with a little more seat time and then go play with the big boys,” stated Parkhouse. The impressive finish sealed a first and third place for Parkhouse Motorsports.
Victor Barreda managed a fourth place finish despite having a few problems with his clutch. “We weren’t used to this course and the one for the Bud Light Baja Sur 500 was much different. This course was much more difficult,” said codriver Juan Costa.
Wayne Matlock took top honors in the Pro UTV Class in his JIMCO built Polaris RZR XP1000. A Baja champion in the ATV class, Matlock reached the finish line over an hour and half faster than second place finisher, Derek Murray, earning his first Pro UTV Baja 500 class win. Matlock took the lead, began to run away from the group of twenty three UTV’s at race mile 106 and built on his lead throughout the next 400 miles. It was an amazing display of speed, prep and navigation by Wayne Matlock and his team.
Rafael Navarro put his #1209 JIMCO on top of the SCORE LITE podium. Navarro averaged a speed of 42.01 mph on his way to a half an hour victory over second place finisher, Matt Ferrato. Heading in to the Baja 500, Navarro held the overall points lead in the class with his win at the San Felipe 250. A class points championship is now in sight for Navarro heading in to the second half of the season.
JIMCO fielded three Class 10 cars amidst a field of twenty. Halfway through the start of the 10 cars, one of the buggies struck a power line pole temporarily pausing the race while race officials cleared the course. This meant open air for the cars starting behind the accident and the class winner couldn’t be declared an hour after its first finisher. At the finish line in Ensenada, #1053 Brad Wilson missed out on the class win by +00:09:08. #1050 John Langley fought through the field for a fifth place finish. #1060 Armando Boehme did not finish the race.
All four JIMCO Trophy Trucks entered the Baja 500 finished and it was Jason Voss with the best showing in the #35 JIMCO Trophy Truck. Voss started in fourth position and by race mile 44.5 remained fourth on corrected time. At this point, the top ten Trophy Trucks were all within a minute of each other. Voss chased Luke McMillin and Robby Gordon up through the Pine Forest, La Rumorosa and past Laguna Salada.
Voss ran patiently to the Pacific side, where he passed McMillin on the side of the course with his hood off. However, at race mile 292 in Ojos Negros he was fourth on the road and seventh on corrected time. Two flat tires cost some time but Voss fought his way back for a fifth place finish, seven minutes off Apdaly Lopez’ winning pace.
This year’s Baja 500 course had beautiful stops along the way that hadn’t been raced on in years. Racers were treated with going through the Pine Forest with its beautiful scenery, winding down the massive La Rumorosa grade and running along the coast with a sunset on the horizon. In the end, Baja always wins and every second spent on course is worthwhile. #45 Gary Magness, #88 Sergio Salgado and #85 Justin Davis all had respectable finishes. Gary Magness finished in fifteenth position with a time of 10:56:59.
Justin Davis and Sergio Salgado were among the final finishers after over half a day spent on the course.
Salgado blew a transmission that left him stranded in a remote part of the race course. Nonetheless, Salgado’s crew got the spare located on the other side of the race course to the #88 and completed a transmission change to finish the race. The whole ordeal took seven hours but Salgado was back in Ensenada sixteen and a half hours after leaving.
In the Trophy Truck SPEC Class, JIMCO’s #852 Russel Buehler was the last finisher with a finishing time just shy of twenty hours.
Racers now have a gap in the coming months to reprep vehicles heading in to the second half of the season. JIMCO’s racers will be back for Best in the Desert’s legendary Vegas to Reno in mid-August.